Barry Trotz may have a future in media, because he sure knows how to use facts to fit a narrative.
Trotz was asked about Bruce Cassidy’s pointed rant against the officiating in his team’s Game 5 win on Monday at TD Garden. Cassidy began his comment like this: “I think they sell a narrative over there that it’s more like the New York Saints, not the New York Islanders. They play hard and they play the right way. But I feel we’re the same way, and the exact calls that are getting called on us do not get called on them. And I don’t know why.”
Trotz’s response to the question: “You’ll have to ask [Cassidy] about that. I know that – just look at where we end up during the year. I think we were one of the least penalized teams in the whole league. So, I don’t know what he means by that. You’ll have to ask him.”
It’s possible that Trotz truly didn’t have the full context of Cassidy’s comments. But his face and body language in the video above suggests that he did know, and he was just being disingenuous and dismissive.
And Trotz wasn’t wrong about the “least penalized” part. The Islanders ranked 29th in the NHL during the regular season with 370 total penalty minutes. The Bruins ranked fifth with 533, and there’s no question the B’s take undisciplined penalties from time to time.
But either way, Trotz just made Cassidy’s point for him. Cassidy is saying that the low penalty numbers are misleading because the Islanders have sold a narrative. And Trotz is continuing to sell it, and sell it well.
It’s obvious at this point that Trotz lobbies the officials hard – and they are listening. How else do you explain Patrice Bergeron immediately getting kicked out of the faceoff dot the first time he squares up? Pathetic.
And this isn’t to say that the officiating solely cost the Bruins the game. Bad calls happen, and if the Bruins had a representative penalty kill or goaltender in Game 5, they could have overcome a bad call or two. Ultimately, the problem is the players on the ice and not the officials.
But it’s painfully clear that Trotz’s lobbying is working for his team, and has worked all season, and that Game 5 was egregiously slanted. The Islanders may not be the dirtiest team in the league, but they sure as hell aren’t the New York Saints.
Just give Trotz a radio gig and get it over-with.
Bruins Postgame Podcast with Matt Dolloff and Ty Anderson:
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at email@example.com.